Torii Hunter has never been one to be shy in the media. According to a tweet from FOX Sports' Jim Bowden, Hunter recently opined that his Angels could use an addition like sluggers Prince Fielder or Adam Dunn. When asked if he's talked to GM Tony Reagins or manager Mike Scioscia, Hunter wouldn't say, though Bowden believes he has.
The Angels are without first baseman and heart-of-the-order bat Kendry Morales following a bizarre injury suffered when celebrating a walk-off grand slam. Since then, catcher Mike Napoli has seen the lion's share of playing time at first base. As a first baseman, Napoli is hitting .253/.329/.453. Some may say he's held his own, but he's not living up to Morales' .290/.346/.487 line from 2010, and especially not his .306/.355/.569 breakout from 2009.
Fielder, 26, is eligible for free agency following the 2011 season. As we learned in late June, he's not currently discussing an extension with the Brewers, and you have to imagine that as a Scott Boras client, he's going to test the market. Off to a slower start than 2009, Fielder's still hitting .266/.390/.488 with 18 HR. Due to his age and contract status, he's likely tougher to acquire than Dunn. There's also the issue of what to do with Fielder following 2010 when Morales is healthy.
Dunn, 30, is a free agent following 2010 and off to a better start. He's hitting .276/.363/.549 with 17 homers. Finishing up a two-year, $20MM contract, Dunn has just $6MM of the $12MM he's earning remaining on his contract as of today. We learned yesterday that he'd hoped to have an extension worked out by the All-Star Break, but that seems unlikely.
The Angels sit a manageable 4.5 games behind Texas in the AL West, and we've seen them acquire rentals before, as they did with Mark Teixeira in 2008. A deal for either Fielder or Dunn would likely require far more than they dealt in that trade (Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek), but we've heard there's no limitation on their spending this July.